header image

Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13
Company I, 9th Infantry.
14 April 1918.

Report of Attack on Odette 13th and 14th April 1918.

Bombardment started at 11.15 P.M. 13th April 1918, and lasted incessantly for one hour and fifteen minutes, all of the time getting heavier. Splinters of shells prove that ten inch guns were employed to demolish the trenches, dugouts, and wires. This was accomplished by the enemy.

The attack came about 12.30 or 12.45 A.M. The enemy came through the line at the river Ceuse and also at a point midway between Company L and Company I. These points are unoccupied by troops for about 250 meters, because of the nature of the ground and the fact that each company has such an enormous sector to cover. They followed on the one side the Trench Roumanie and on the other the Boyau L'Agen. Somewhere near the Chappelle St. Nicolas, they formed two waves from the rear, at the same time launching a wave attack against the front. Company I was on the alert for the attack and not a man left his post. They entered the trenches from the front and rear and hand to hand fighting took place. This was very hard for one and one-half hours. According to a captured section leader there were five hundred men in the attack composed of 60 pioneers and special shock troops brought here for the purpose. They rehearsed the plan several times behind their lines, he stated.

At several places the Germans in excellent English said they were Frenchmen that had come to help us, and in the darkness our men at first believed them. This was true of a group of 25 Germans who permitted a Company I runner to pass through them and to tell the Americans not to shoot as they were Frenchmen supporting our flank. Our four missing men were approached this way by a squad of Germans saying they were a squad of French. Instead of shooting one man went for the Platoon Commander and while he was gone they took the other four men. But soon our men got on to this and paid no attention to cries of "Comarad", "dont shoot" and such phrases.

As the night passed our men fought better and better. It was hand to hand fighting with grenades, bayonets and butts of rifles. We have about twenty broken rifles at present. When the attack started all telephone communications were broken so the Company Commander sent two runners asking for artillery barrage. Besides that the Company Commander sent up five six-star rockets. The artillery was slow to open up but gave a good barrage after starting. All the fighting was done in the dark and lasted until daybreak.

Every man fought valiantly all night long. Two men in the kitchen Private Harlin Castle 40138 and Cook William Evans 40049 when told the enemy were breaking through our lines picked up their rifles and instead of retreating as they were told to do, came forward to join Company I and fought all night.

After the enemy broke about 2.30 to 3.00 A.M. the Company Commander detailed Lieutenant McInerny to clean up the Boyau Marmande and Trench Roumanie. This he did excellently. The 3rd Platoon of which one-half is located at Moulin Haut could not get to us at first but did excellent work at the Mill following the German line right into the trenches. All this time we had a combat post of ten privates and three N.C.O.'s in the open at P.P. De Gers and they never once laft [sic] that place. Every lieutenant did just what was planned. The 4th Platoon drew into the Trench St. Nicolas and fought at that point.

The enemy started leaving the trenches at about 2.30 to 3.00 A.M. Our men gave it to them in the darkness. Our barrage held them back so at daybreak we got many of them in No Man's Land. The whole night was replete with individual feats of bravery. Each Platoon Commander was with his platoon every minute and led his men in the hand to hand fighting. By daybreak the men were fighting wonderfully and were difficult to keep in the trenches. On their own initiative they would go out into No Mans Land to investigate any shell holes where the enemy might be.

Incendiary grenades destroyed Abri 35 and Post of Command 29 though the Consigne was saved. The men had just been through a terrific bombardment of forty-eight hours ending before this attack, so that now they are well worn out. Request has gone in for the many requisites of the company, as also has the list of dead, wounded and missing. Dead, 1 private; wounded, 13 privates and one corporal; missing, four privates.

We have recovered the bodies of twenty-seven dead Germans and Company Commander believes there are more in No Man's Land. Three wounded and three unwounded Germans were taken prisoner. The Germans evacuated all their wounded as was shown by the trails of blood leading over the trenches. Judging on the basis of known dead the Company Commander believes their casualties to be between one hundred and one hundred and twenty-five.

The company recovered one private of the Medical Corps by killing two Germans and bringing back this private who was severely wounded. At another place they recovered a private of the Machine Gun Company in the same manner and at still another place they recovered a machine gun in the same manner. One thing of interest was that in several instances auto-rifles stationed at the front were quickly shifted to the rear because of an attack in that direction and then were shifted back to their original positions because of the same necessity.

Lieutenant Teddy Langlais and Lieutenant Walter G. Kimball deserve special mention for they held the line of resistance intact against against attacks from all directions. Lieutenant Arnold M. McInerny did excellent work in bringing the 4th Platoon into the trench St. Nickolas for support to the 1st and 2nd Platoons. The whole company fought superbly but the following men deserve special mention for bravery and coolness:

Private Charles Schmitz 40214 spied several Germans in one shell hole. He said, "Boys, dont shoot unless I yell "Schmitz": that means they've got me". So he jumped over the top with his Automatic Rifle and killed five Germans.

Sergeant Stanyslaw Lanarsky 40006 saved his platoon by telling the men to fire anyway when the advancing Germans yelled in excellent English "Cease firing, we're Americans".

Private Luigi Favino 40155 who when his loader was wounded told his platoon commander he did not need to get another man taht [sic] he'd hold the place till the Germans got him.

Private James Pappos 40196 who would not leave his post although severely wounded until the Germans had left the trenches.

Corporal Robert P. Barrett 40023 who though wounded in the chin fought beside the Company Commander all through the night and did not leave to have his wound dressed until about 9.00, o'clock in the morning.

The following non-commissioned officers handled their platoons or half-platoons with bravery and coolness:Sergeant Steve Vignjevic 40004, Sergeant Robert E. Slatton 40008, Sergeant John S. Simpson 40012, Sergeant William F. Levine 40014, Sergeant Guerino Carcipagna 40005, Sergeant Thomas Snyder and Sergeant Frank E. Robinson 40010.

Private Baldwin of the Signal Corps who acted as runner and stretcher bearer after ther [sic] telephone was out of commission.

Corporal Arthur J. Tickner 40226 with Privates Edward Doyle 40152, Ulysse Arceneaux 40057 and Michael J. Dillon 40149 held a strong point about one hundred yards from any support all during the night.

Mechanic George C. Symonds 40055 who acted as runner between Company L and Company I, on one trip encountered two Germans. He bayoneted one and brought the other in a prisoner.

The following men deserve especial mention because all during the night they carried messages to Platoon Commanders and Battalion Headquarters passing through a terrific box barrage and never once failing to deliver the message:

Corporal Roland A. Williams 40047, Privates William H. Bower 40062, Hewitt F. Cunningham 40073, William D. Brown 40065, Mark L. Grant 40089 and Frederick B. King 40172.

Private Harlin Castle 40138 and Cook William Evans 40049 instead of retreating when many of the others ran took up hteir [sic] rifles and joined the 2nd Platoon where they fought all the night.

The Company Commander is very proud of the manner in which Company I, conducted itself againt [sic] shock troops of superior numbers who came not for a raid but to occupy and hold Trench Bruges. The German casualties would have been more severe but for the darkness of the night.

Edward G. Ince
Edward G. Ince,
1st Lieut.,O.R.C., 9th Inf.,
Comdg. Co. "I"
— — — — — —— — — — — — —
April 13 - 14,1918.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: The origin and source of this report is not known)

At 11:00 p.m. April 13. a strong Boche raid was made on the sector MARIE-LOUISE. Prisoners report attack made by 1 Company of Pioneers, 1 Company of Sturmstruppen and 3 Companies of the 371st Infantry made up of selected men.

Attack lasted until 5:00 a.m. April 14, following a most violent bombardment of whole ROUVROIS sector. Bombardment began about 5:30 p.m. April 13 lasting 2 hours.

At first Boche barrage men took to shelters. When barrage lifted they got out of shelters and found line of men in front line trenches, many of whom were talking French, some in French uniforms, and who endeavored to convince our men that they were French soldiers sent in to reinforce the sector. One, of them cried, "GAS". Deceived for a moment, our men started to put on their gas masks. The ruse was discovered, and the fight started.

Apparently, the Sturmstruppen penetrated the sub-sector on both flanks and then moved rapidly toward the front trenches, capturing 1 medical officer and 4 hospital corps men on their way. After a hand to hand fight, Boche the were driven off.

Our casualties at present moment:
Co,I, 9th Inf.:2 killed, 9 wounded,4 missing.
Co,L, 9th Inf.:4 killed, 18 wounded, Exact number missing not known - probably 8.
Medical Corps: 1 officer and 4 men missing.
1 man wounded.

At 10:00 o'clock this morning German casualties inside our lines actually counted were 35 killed, 10 prisoners. Casualties in front of trenches not yet counted. Known to be considerable number of dead, and that a number of wounded were carried back.

At one time Boche had nearly 25 of our men prisoners when men broke loose and returned to our lines. One man taken prisoner, knocked his captor down with his fist, took his gun away from him and killed him, returning to our lines with the German rifle.

Further details as soon as practicable.

— — — — — —— — — — — — —
Headquarters 3rd. Bn., 9th, Inf., A.E.F.,
April 16, 1918.
From: Commanding Officer, 3rd. Bn., 9th. Infantry.
To: Commanding Officer, 9th. Infantry.
Subject: Report on German attack on night of 13/14th April, 1918.

A heavy bombardment was being delivered on the CORALIE sector, when it suddenly switched at 10:45 P.M., to a teriffic [sic] bombardment of MAIZEY and the Battalion Post of Command. This fire suddenly covered the entire sector, and continued until 2:45 A.M. A box barrage between co-ordinates 8.4 - 8.72 & 8.20 - 7.30 at 11;20 P.M. April 13th. and continued until 12:30 A.M. April 14th. The Battalion Intelligence officer reports that a conservative estimate of the number of shells which landed in this sector during the preparation and the attack, to be at least fifteen thousand (15,000) shells.


BARRAGE - Rockets were fired by Company Commanders at 11:30 P.M. calling for barrage, which signal was repeated at frequent intervals. It was shortly after 12:00 O'clock before our artillery responded. Our barrage by 12:30 was rather light, rockets were therefore sent up from Battalion Headquarters and a request for normal barrage made by T.P.S. on points 31, 32, 33, 34 and 35.


LIAISON - Very poor. The telephone wires were immediately cut by the shell fire and all communication to the front lines was by runners.

4. MESSAGES AND ORDERS SENT - Immediatly [sic] upon telephone wires being cut, the following were sent to the Post of Command of Companies I and L:

(a) "Wire connections cut, be prepared to drive out Boche. Keep me informed by runners of conditions in your sector."

At 11:00 P.M. April 13th. the Commanding Officer of the reserve platoon at MAIZEY was directed

(b) To proceed to quarry and to be prepared to counterattack the Germans should they enter our sector, and to place a squad in the grave yard. to protect the trench leading to the hospital and the BOYAU d'AGEN.

(c) To Post of Command of I and L: "The counter attack will be made by groups where ever the Germans are discovered, maintain liaison with Battalion Headquarters."

(d) Directed Captain Falk to place his reserve guns in vicinity of bridge and to cover crossings and trenches leading from MOULIN HAUT to our front lines.

(e) Lieutenant Hall (Battalion Observer) reporting the obersvation [sic] tower had been pounded so hard as to be unfitted, for observation purposes, was directed to proceed with his scouts immediatly [sic] to MOULIN HAUT to drive any Germans found out of BOAYU d'AGEN and to re-inforce "I" Company, reporting upon reaching I Company by runner.

(f) Lieutenant Bush was directed to take a detachment of men from MAIZEY composed of orderlies, etc., and to be prepared to launch counter-attack and to report by runner, conditions, and to maintain communication with these Headquarters.

(g) Message to Regimental Commander asking for three (3) platoons of Company K. They were needed to assist in clearing trenches and to support Companies I and L in case we encountered a German attack on a larger scale.


MESSAGES RECEIVED - (a) From I and L announcing Boche attack.

(b) Calling for barrage.
(c) Announcing hard fighting.
(d) That they were driving the Boche out.
(e) The Germans were retiring; heavy rifle fire was being delivered on the Germans.
(f) That our trenches were clear of Boche with losses on both sides.

DIRECTION OF ATTACK - Along the whole sector.


POINTS OF PENETRATION - The BOYAU d'AGEN. (b) Between P.P. ITALIE and P.P. GUERETS. (c) Between P.P. RUSSIE and P.P. JOPAN; (d) Between P.P. ETATS UNIS and CANAL de L'EST. Openings were made in the wire at each point of entry the wire having previously been damaged from the shell fire.


DEPARTURE - The same general direction - that is, point of entry.


FORMATIONS OF ATTACK - The enemy attacked in wave formation; the general fighting was a series of hand to hand conflicts between small groups. The fighting was made harder by the darkness of the night. The German attack was made by five Companies amounting to at least 500 men; one company of shock troops and another company with Engineer equipment, all carrying two days rations, canteens and a number with such personal belongings as watches, etc.

Taking into consideration the manner in which they attacked; the artillery firing during the action; and the composition of the attacking force, there is almost positive indications of their intention to occupy this sector.


The German losses reported to date; buried, 58; prisoners, 9.


Our casualties: I Company: dead, 1 Private; Wounded, 14 enlisted Men; missing, 4 enlisted men.

L Company: killed, 4; wounded, 3 officers and 20 enlisted men; missing, 7 enlisted men.

Co. C. 5th. M.G: wounded, 2; missing, 8 enlisted men.

On duty at Battalion Hdqrs: wounded, 2 Officers.

Medical Department missing, 1 Officer and 6 enlisted men.

When it is considered that this Battalion has been under a heavy bombardment since entering this sector 3/4 April, the fighting spirit shown in defeating twice their number & not giving an inch of ground, is highly praise worthy - deserving of the traditions of the "FIGHTING NINTH".

It was my wish in repeating calls for barrage during the night on 31, 32,33, 34 and 35, that it would hold the Germans from reaching their lines until daylight when we would have attacked and wiped them out.


Recommendations for bravery: Reports of the Company Commabders [sic] regarding the gallant conduct of their men are heartily approved and the undersigned, hopes that they will be promptly rewarded for their gallant conduct.

Captain Worthington, Commanding Company L, tho' wounded retained command of his Company thru' out the important phases of the action and displayed conspicuous gallantry under fire in the presence of the enemy.

Lieutenant Ince, Commanding Company I, repeatedly lead his men in attack and displayed conspicious [sic] gallantry under fire in the presence of the energy.

Lieuyenant [sic] Knight, on duty at Battalion Headquarters, had been sent to the lines on duty, captured two (2) German prisoners and by doing so displayed courage.

The following enlisted men came under my particular notice and are recommended for exceptional bravery in carrying messages under a terrific shell fire during the action, and by their fearlessness kept up the liaison which was so necessary:

(a) Private Belden, 107659, Edward E. Co.C.5th.M.G. Bn.
(b) " Cunningham, 40073, Hewitt F. Co. I.
(c) " Marcum, 40442, James, Co. K.
(d) " Private Boyle 40280, John F. Co. K.
(e) " Fritz, 40409, Clyde A. Co. K.
(f) " Bunoski, 40308, Bunie, Co. K.
(g) "Zint, 40602, Andrew F. Co. L.
(h) Corporal Boggess, 40767, Henry W. Company M.
I will report at a later date on the necessity of improving the defenses of this sector. The organization and disposition of the troops in this sector were made in accordance with the French plan.
H.I. Bearss
Lt-Colonel U.S.M.Corps.
— — — — — —— — — — — — —
Third Battalion, 9th U. S. Infantry,
A. E. F., France, 15 April 1918.
From: Intelligence Officer, 3rd Bn., 9th Infantry.
To: Commanding Officer, 3rd Bn., 9th Infantry.
Subject: Intelligence Report.
1. Coordinates of locations are available for this report, but not yet posted. Ed.

Fire of destruction- Barrage- Objectives.

The whole Marie-Louise Sector was under heavy bombardment since it was taken over by the Third Battalion of the Ninth Infantry on the night of 3-4 April 1918. During one period this bombardment was almost continuous for forty eight hours.

At 10:45 P.M., 13 April 1918, the heavy fire of destruction began and it continued until 2:45 A.M., 14 April 1918. It covered the Town of Maizey, the bridge across the Canal de L'Est, and the road and Boyau de Maizey up to and including old Battalion Headquarters. The barrage for the attack commenced on our lines at 11:20 P.M., 13 April, and it continued until 12:30 A.M., 14 April. This was a box barrage. Its northern limit was at about co-ordinates 8.84-8.72. (Rouvrois Map #243- 1/10000, or Chauvencourt Map #326- 1/5000.) The southern limit at the beginning was the Canal de L'Est at about 8.20-7.30. After the first few minutes of fire this southern limit was moved back to the Boyau du Canal which runs from 8.09-7.55 to Yvonne company command post at 8.15-7.70.

During this barrage there were two other objectives. One was the fire of destruction in the Town of Maizey previously mentioned, and the other was the old quarry at 8.75-8.65. This latter objective was completely covered. The depth of the barrage on the front line trenches was such as to include the resisting parallels of the Odette and Yvonne companies.


First point of penetration.

The enemy first penetrated our lines in the low land between P.P. du Masque and P.P. Gers, and came along the trench running from the Boyau de la Creuse at 8.20-9.15 to the Chappelle St. Nicholas on the Boyau d'Agen at 8.18-9.74.


Points of penetration.

The enemy penetrated our lines in four places, as follows:
Between P.P. du Masque and P.P. Gers as previously stated.
Between P.P. Italie and P.P. Guerets at point near 8.50-8.25.
Between P.P. Russie and P.P. Japon at point near 8.47-7.94.
Between P.P. Etats Unis and the Canal de L'Est at point near 8.35-7.55.


Openings in the wire.

So far as known there wre [sic] only four main openings in the wire, one at each point of entry. These were cut by the men of the German Pioneers and varied width from eight to twelve yards. The wire was previously badly damaged by the barrage. The enemy came through these openings in either squad or half-platoon columns.


Time of penetration.

The enemy who came in between P.P. du Masque and P.P. Gers came in about 11:30 or 11:45 P.M., 13 April. The penetration at the other points was at about 12:20 A.M., 14 April.


General direction after penetration.

The enemy who came in between P.P. du Masque and P.P. Gers came to Boyau d'Agen where they separated, part of them going over to the old quarry and the rest going down in rear of Boyau d'Agen. These latter took interval to cover the Odette and Yvonne sectors from the rear. The enemy who came in at the point of entry between the canal and P.P. Etats Unis came up in rear of the Yvonne company. Those who entered at points between P.P. Italie and P.P. Guerets, and between P.P. Russie and Japon took interval to cover the front of Odette and Yvonne.


Direction of departure.

The direction of departure was generally through the original points of entry. The party which entered the quarry went out the way they came in. At the other points the confusion was very great, the enemy apparently not expecting to be obliged to withdraw from the position.


Artillery fire after penetration.

After the enemy had entered and the barrage had stopped at 12:30 A.M., 14 April, the artillery fire was on the Town of Maizey, the bridge across the Canal de L'Est, and the road and Boyau de Maizey up to old Battalion Headquarters, and including the Moulin Haut. It continued until 2:45 A.M., 14 April.


Time our barrage called for.

The American barrage was first called for at 11:50 P.M., 13 April, and was repeated by the companies in line at frequent intervals.


Parts of line calling for barrage.

The company commanders of the Yvonne and Odette companies both called for our barrage from their company command Posts. They repeated their signals at frequent intervals. Our barrage was not very heavy about 12:30 A.M., 14 April, so several six-star rockets were sent up from the vicinity of Battalion Headquarters from 12:30 to 1:30 A.M., as a signal to continue the fire.


Opening of our barrage and points covered.

The American barrage commenced at about midnight, at first covering only the Odette front. It was not extended to cover the Yvonne front until about 1:00 A.M., 14 April.


Enemy intentions.

From the indications evidenced by the enemy's equipment and method of attack, the almost certain conclusion is formed that his intention was to capture and hold the position.


Estimate of number of shells used by enemy.

A number of counts made the night of the attack showed that enemy shells were falling on the Marie-Louise sector at a rate of from sixty to ninety-six shells per minute. A very conservative estimate of the total number of shells used by the enemy in the attack would be fifteen thousand shells of various calibres.

Glenn G. Hall.
Glenn G. Hall,
2nd Lt., 9th U. S. Inf.
— — — — — —— — — — — — —
April 14, 1918.
14/4/18     9.00 AM Hq.       9th Received Hq.2nd Div.
Apr 14 1918 11.20 AM

To C. G. 2d Div.

Advanced report - (not verified)

Enemy raid on Marie-Louise P.A. Yvonne - between 11.45 P.M. and 3 A.M.  5 German prisoners - 2 seriously wounded.

15 Americans captured - (including 1 medical Officer?) Casualties unknown.

2 Mach. Guns U.S captured by Germans. Wire communication cut from 11.30 P.M.

Reported enemy entered trenches by Ruse - crying "Gas"! "Gas!" and everyone covered himself with gas masks.

Report by code to Brigade Hq at 4:15 A.M.

F.L. Whitley
Maj. Adjt.
— — — — — —— — — — — — —
2nd. Div. Inf., U.S.
9th. Reg. Inf., U.S.
14, April, 1918.
Commanding the 9th., Infantry, U. S.
Comdg General 2d Div.
GERMAN RAID, Night of April 13-14.
Enemy Artillery Preparation.

The enemy registered with 70 shrapnel shells a few meters before the barbed wire defenses of TR. JEAN-JEAN, 5:48 p.m.,April 13. (Coordinates 0.84-8.72 to 7.73-7.74). At 6:45 p.m., town of MAIZEY and BOYEAU MAIZEY were registered with about the same number of shells.

A heavy bombardment of MAIZEY and BOYEAU MAIZEY commenced at 10:45 p.m., and continued until 2:45 a.m. At 11:20 p.m., the enemy put down a box barrage on sectors ODETTE and YVONNE and continued it until 12:30 a.m. The extreme northern limit of this barrage was about 8.84-8.72. The southern limit started at Canal de L' EST, about 8.20-7.30 and after a few minutes was moved back to boyeau running from command post ODETTE to the canal, BOYEAU DE L'ARBRE EN BOULE, 8.15-7.70 to 8.09-7.55. It included the support trenches of ODETTE and YVONNE and CARRIERE ST. NICOLAS.

French and American ARTILLERY.

Our artillery shelled enemy trench, ADRIANOPLE, in counter-preparation fire from 5:30 p.m., until 7:30 p.m. At 11:45 p.m., in response to rocket signal, our artillery put down fixed barrage to cover MARIE LOUISE SECTOR. This barrage was continued with decreasing density until 5:00 a.m.

Time of Raid.

The infantry attack commenced at 12:30 a.m., and continued until about 2:00 a.m., by which time our trenches had been cleared of the enemy.

Points of Entry.

Two points of entry of the enemy into our trenches, as nearly as can be ascertained are (a) BOYEAU D' AGEN, 7.85-8.71, and in the vicinity of the junction of ODETTE and YVONNE sectors, about 8.30-8.40. At the former point, the appearance of the dirt on the trenches shows that a number of men had slipped into the trench from the front, and on the opposite wall are indications of places where men had climbed. out.

Strength and Disposition of Enemy

As nearly as can be ascertained the party position of of enemy numbered between 350 and 425 men, including three provisional companies, made up of details from the 272nd.Reg.Reserve, one company of Stosstroops, and one company of pioneers.

It is thought that the enemy was divided into four groups, each of which was assigned a different objective. One group, probable objective: CARRIERE ST. NICOLAS; one, ODETTE; one, YVONNE; and the fourth,P.P. PORTUGAL.


All objectives were attacked from all sides. The groups in the rear, evidently waited for the hour "H", behind the parapet of BOYEAU D'AGEN. The CARRIERE was evidently completely encircled. The commander of Company "I", reports that his rear was attacked in a two-wave formation.

Losses, American
Unit Officers Killed Wounded Missing
M.G. Co.        
Co. "L"     4  
Co. "I"        
Medical       1
M.G. Co.     1 8
Co. "L"   2 16 3
Co. "I"   1 16 4
Medical       7
Total: 3 officers wounded, 1 officer missing.
         3 men killed, 33 men wounded, 22 men missing.
Losses, Enemy In addition 10 men are known to be captured. Prisoners taken, 3-men not wounded, 8 men wounded. Bodies recovered in Co."L", 20,on wire before Co."L", 10. Bodies recovered by Co. "I", 25. Total number of enemy cadavers in lines 55, in addition to which are a number not yet ascertained on ground before our wire.
Two M.G. were carried a short distance and dropped by enemy.
  This is an advance report based on the best information available at this time, and not on the Battalion Commander's report, which will follow and may modify this.
14, April, 1918.
L. S. Upton.
Commanding 9th. U.S. Inf.
Copy made and transmitted to:
1 - G.H.Q. A.E.F.
1 - Advance Hq. 1st Corps, (Major Richardson)
— — — — — —— — — — — — —
Apr. 13-14,'18,
15122. G 3
Headquarters Ninth Infantry
A.E.F.,France, 18 April, 1918.
From: Commanding Officer.
To: To Comdg. General, 2nd Division,
(Through Comdg. General, 3rd Brigade).
Subject: German attack night of 13-14 April, 1918.
1. I enclose herewith the following papers:
(a) Report of Lieutenant Colonel H.I.Bearss, U.S.M.C.,Commanding 3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry
(b) Report of C.O. Company I, 9th Infantry.
(c) Report of C.O. Company C, 5th M.G.Battalion.
(d) Report of C.O. Company K, 9th Infantry.
(e) Report of Intelligence Officer,3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry.
(f) General Orders 20, Headquarter 9th Infantry.
(g) Interrogatory of Prisoners.
h) Paragraph 2,General Orders 18, Headquarters 9th Infantry.

Regimental Headquarters learned at 12-00 M., 14th April, that there was some difficulty at Marie Louise on account of the fact that liaison could not be obtained by telephone, Coralie was directed to send runner to Marie Louise for report. At 2-40 a.m. report by runner to Coralie received and message phoned to Regimental Headquarters, "German raid, 10 Americans taken,some casualties both sides, 5 prisoners taken, two wounded". Yvonne was called at 2-50 a.m. and Lieutenant Bush replied, "We had been ordered for counter-attack, requested four platoons for trench clearing". Two were sent as it was not deemed advisable to commit the entire reserve at one time.

Barrage was also asked for but no definite limit given due to the fact that the enemy points of entrance were not known. Barrage was asked for along entire Battalion front. The barrage was delivered and continued until 5-00 a.m. when it was lifted. The barrage held some enemy in shell holes but did not have sufficient density to cut off the retreat of the Germans who worked through it dragging their wounded with them. The shell holes were "cleaned up" at daybreak. At 6-20 a.m. report "all clear" as received.


Our losses were as follows:

Five enlisted men killed, two died of wounds; wounded three officers, 36 enlisted men; missing one officer, 25 enlisted men divided as follows, Company I four enlisted men; Company L seven enlisted men, Company C 5th M.G. Battalion eight enlisted men, and Sanitary Troops one officer, six enlisted men. We buried one officer and 59 enlisted German dead, and captured eleven.


The conduct of our men in decisively defeating a superior force, who had the advantage of a box barrage, rehearsed plan, Stoss troops, and German treachery cannot be too highly praised.

I believe the full details of this action should be promptly published in the United States in order to hearten the American people and let them know how good our men are. Its effect on the public mind which is suffering from Boche propaganda would be electrical.

9 incls.
L. S. Upton
Colonel, 9th Infantry.
1st Ind.
Hq. 3d Brig. 2d Div. A.E.F. Apr. 19/18., Commanding General, 2d Div., Forwarded:

Concurring in recommendation of Col. Upton:-

This action is an excellent example of what determined men can do to win success even when almost everything is to the advantage of the enemy. Attention is invited to the list of names of men given who rendered conspicuous service. It will be noted that many are of foreign origin.

In this brigade, there are not less than 25% of this class. In the training area, organization commanders almost gave up hope of even making soldiers of them, not through any lack of willingness on the part of the men themselves but on account of their lack of knowledge of English. Since arriving in this area, this class of men have in every engagement with the enemy, fully demonstrated that they have a fierce fighting ability, and that they will stick to their work to the bitter end. The first man killed in this brigade was a man who had such a deficient knowledge of English that orders were issued transferring him from the organization. He was killed staying at his post even after his comrades had endeavored to get him to fall back to the support line. The French awarded him the Crois de Guerre. Few if any of this class will be transferred from this organization on account of deficient knowledge of English. It may be well for organizations with a similar personnel to be advised of this important fact. It is evident that, with patience and painstaking effort in the training of this class, we can develop fighters who will measure up to our best American traditions.

The Commanding General, 52d Division (French) has recommended that Cos "I" and "L" 9th Infantry be cited in orders by the Army, and that one platoon Co. "K" 9th Infantry be cited in orders by the Army Corps, and has commended Co. "C" 5th M.G. Co. for its assistance in this action.

(Received HQ. 2nd Div. Apr 19 1918)

(Sgd) Peter Murray,
Peter Murray,
Brigadier General, N. A.
Records Of The Second Division (Regular) Volume 7; Operation Reports — War Diaries — Patrol Reports
Second Division Historical Section, The Army War College, Washington, D. C.
Last Update: 06/18/2017 8:42 AM Sitemap Search this Site ©2002-2017 MG Ryder & Contributors